Temperatures fall, beads fly


Ava Satterfield

Waving for beads, Tampa Bay residents watch the Gasparilla Children’s Parade. The parade took place on Bayshore Boulevard last Saturday.

Despite the cold weather, beads were still thrown on Bayshore Boulevard last Saturday at the Gasparilla Children’s Parade. More than 100 floats participated in the daylong event. 

This year marked the parade’s 75th anniversary. Since 1947, families have lined Bayshore dressed in pirate costumes to catch beads and celebrate the legend of José Gaspar, the Spanish pirate famous for his invasion of Tampa Bay.

The celebration began with an air invasion; vintage military aircrafts flew over the bay. The drizzle did not stop the floats from throwing beads. Rain and beads weren’t the only things falling- chicken sandwiches were thrown into the crowd from the Chick-fil-A float. Fireworks were launched from a pirate ship in the bay to end the day.

Plant students took part in the fun. Madison Fierro, a freshman, said the chilly weather did not bother her once the parade started.

“The parade was a lot of fun hanging out with my friends and catching beads,” Fierro said. “I got a lot of beads to wear; I could barely put any more beads on my neck.”

Freshman Siena Seaberg said she goes to Gasparilla every year but that this year felt different.

“I thought the parade was less exciting this year because I’ve grown up a bit and wasn’t as excited to catch beads,” Seaberg said. “However, I had a lot of fun walking to see people with my friends despite the weather being in the 40s and 50s.” 

Expect another cold Saturday next weekend for the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates, also known as the adult parade. It will also take place on Bayshore Boulevard from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.